Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow Cooking Thursday - Lemon Chicken


This is SO late going up today, my apologies.  I honestly meant to have it posted in the morning and then got caught up with life and kids and errands and only realized now that I still hadn't gotten the post up.  Goodness.

Anyway, here is today's recipe....this is another on my list to try and it comes courtesy of Mandy's Recipe Box.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast or 12 chicken tenders
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
1 packet Italian Dressing mix , dry
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice or 1/4 C. concentrated lemon juice
1/2 C. chicken broth or 1/2 C. water plus 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • If using chicken breasts, cut into thirds lengthwise; coat chicken in flour.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet; cook half of the chicken on each side 3 minutes to brown. Don't cook through as they will cook in the slow cooker.
  • Remove chicken and place in the slow cooker; cook other half of the chicken in the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.
  • Place chicken in slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle chicken with Italian Dressing mix, lemon juice and chicken broth. 
  • Cover with lid and cook on low 3-4 hours.
  • Serve over rice with juices.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

House of Earth - TLC Book Review

Finished in 1947, House of Earth is Woody Guthrie's only fully realized novel—a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness.

Tike and Ella May Hamlin struggle to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas Panhandle. The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements.

Woodie Guthrie began his book in 1946-1947, but then never got around to finishing it.  It was found last year in the University of Tulsa. 

Johnny Depp then began his own publishing imprint at Harper Collins and decided to step in, and publish the story.....and here we are today.

I have to say that I quite enjoyed this book, and maybe it's because I love anything to do with homesteading or pioneers, the west, etc. 

There were a few things that I didn't quite get, or enjoy.  I mean, the story seems to center on Tike's obsession with having and Adobe house and at first I didn't quite understand why, but having gone back and read the introduction by Johnny Depp and Douglas Brinkley, I now get why this "earth house" plays such an important part.

According to them, Guthrie endured some difficult moments during the Dust Bowl years and after having visited New Mexico and seen their Adobe Houses, he decided that is what he wanted.

It's quite an interesting read, sometimes a little odd, but interesting nonetheless.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Old Man Winter


I don't want to say it, but I have to.....I think old man winter is rubbing his hands together and smirking.

It's just been downright dreary and wintery around here.

Now, don't think I'm complaining, I'm really not, this is one winter I'm looking forward to.  Come next year I may have completely changed my mind, actually by January I may be crying for a truce and begging the old man to move away.

For now though, I'm loving it.


It's been raining, it's been cold, there's frost everywhere in the mornings, the days are shorter and the sun is rising much later.   Beautiful Autumn days, but very similar to winter which leads me to believe that the old man is going to make an early appearance.


This morning found me snuggled in bed with my laptop, my kleenex and a nice hot cup of coffee.  I didn't want to get up, honestly, but had so much to get done that I couldn't just lay there.


So I braved it, hobbled on out, started the fire and then sat by the living room window for a bit, just enjoying the rain and the start of the day.


I kinda want snow to come....I know, I know, call me crazy.  But I sorta, kinda, maybe do?

For now though I'll just be happy with what I'm getting, because this weather does allow for some wonderful moments spent snuggled with a good book and a crochet blanket.  Speaking of which, I think I'll head to my bed this very moment.

Have a blessed night sweet friends :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/28/2013

Happy Monday :)

The cold that everyone had, has been circling me for a while and I had been able to avoid it, but unfortunately last night it caught up with me.  I have neither the patience nor the time for being sick, but I am thankful that I have family near me now that I can turn to for help.

Alrighty, on to today's Happy Homemaker Monday.....oh and I've decided to change the categories around a little.  If you've already written yours up for today then don't worry about it, but if you wish, you can try the new ones as well.  I figured it was time to change it up slightly just for fun :)


As I look outside my window:::
Cloudy, cold and foggy.  A few minutes ago I could see the mountains but I can no longer see them.  Seems we got some rain last night and have more headed our way.  44 degrees is the temperature at the moment.   

Right now I am:::
Sitting on my bed and typing up this post, while hubby is sitting at his computer and typing up an essay for one of his college classes.  I have my Kleenex box next to me and a hot cup of coffee. 

Thinking and pondering:::
On life and marriage and how truly difficult it is at times.  You have to work very hard and smile through a lot of things that you often don't like or agree with.  I've learned through my many years of marriage to sometimes say I understand when I really don't, and to pick my battles.  Some things are not worth fighting over, and other things are worth fighting for. 

On my bedside table:::
Westward Hearts by Melody Carlson (Homeward on the Oregon Trail #1)
A Home at Trail's End by Melody Carlson (Homeward on the Oregon Trail #3)

I couldn't find the second book at the library and though I usually hate reading books out of order, I'm just going to go with it and pretend it's not missing.

On my tv tonight:::
Last night's Downton Abbey 
The Paradise Season 2

Playing on the radio:::
Spoken for by MercyMe

On the menu for this week:::

Monday - BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans, Scalloped Potatoes
Tuesday - Country Fried Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Salad 
Wednesday - Roast Chicken and Rice
Thursday - Carne de Porco a Portuguesa (Portuguese Pork chops)
Friday - Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Saturday - Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs, Sesame Noodles
Sunday - Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup), Sandwiches, Cake

On my to do list:::
Carving Pumpkins with the kids today
Taking kids to Tae Kwon Do and Dancing

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I think the scarf is going to just sit there until forever hahahah 

My simple pleasure:::
A hot cup of coffee with delicious creamer and some Almond Cinnamon Cookies

Lesson learned the past week:::
Oh boy, it's been a very emotional, difficult week for the hubby and I.  We are struggling right now
with all the new adjustments and finding it hard to stay focused.  We both know that we need to listen to God and figure out what He is trying to teach us right now as it will be the only way we can get through it.

Looking around the house:::
More like looking around the bedroom.  Lola is fast asleep on the bed next to me, wrapped in her blanket.  Hubby is working on some schooling and Bella is at his feet sleeping.  I have two baskets of laundry to put away, and one load to iron, and at the moment they are at the foot of the bed. 

From the camera:::
My tree has now lost all it's leaves, but the birds love perching on it's branches while the sun is rising.


On my prayer list:::
My husband and I as we get through this difficult phase.
Friends going through a divorce. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
—Ephesians 6:11

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkins and Hay


I really do live in one of the most beautiful States in the US.

Idaho is gorgeous!


I am so incredibly blessed to live in an area, where beauty surrounds me on a constant basis.  It doesn't take but a 5 minute drive down the road, in any direction.

With the work schedules around here, I am pretty much the only one who has an easy *anything goes, anytime* kind of life.  The kids have their schooling and 4 days of the week there is dancing and Tae Kwon Do lessons.  My husband and brother have work and pretty crazy schedules so planning an outing is never an easy thing to do.

And starting this coming week, my sister in law is heading to work as well.  Thank you all for the prayers, we are all counting our blessings.

But back to what I was talking about, we don't do planned trips anywhere because trying to come up with a day where we know for sure that everyone is available, is just not going to happen.  So we take impromptu trips that keep us close to home and that can be done in the mornings and still have everyone back in time for school/work/activities.

Friday morning we jumped in the cars and headed to a Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch just 20 minutes from home.  It wasn't exactly a huge farm and I guess it was more geared to little ones, but we did get to pick our own pumpkins to carve and the kids all enjoyed running around and climbing straw bales.



Me? I'm content just sitting with my camera and enjoying the scenery around me. I would much rather do that than climb any kind of straw or hay that makes my allergies go bonkers.



I walked the Pumpkin field and watched in amazement the different sizes and shapes of the pumpkins strewn out over the ground.  How amazing that one single field can have such a variety even in color?


And the corn stalks???  Just stunning.


There's something just beautiful about pure sunlight and the way it makes everything look.



Everyone picked a pumpkin


kids climbed huge hay bales, chased each other around mazes, laughed, tripped, jumped on trampolines and had the time of their lives.


And while I watched all this going on, it dawned on me yet again that I could get used to a farm kind of life.  I think I would be pretty happy living near the Snake River, farming acres of yummy food and waking up to beautiful mountain views.

Some may be born to live in cities, but I think I'll always be a country girl.

Oddities and Entities - TLC Book Tour

Oddities and Entities is a surreal, provocative anthology of six tales within the supernatural/paranormal/horror genres, exploring a definition of life beyond the fragile vessel of the human body. The stories are: ‘Boneview’, in which a young woman struggles to balance her ability to see through people with the presence of a supernatural creature in her life; ‘Shift/Change’, in which a hospital worker struggles to regain his memory as he is confronted by a series of desperate people; ‘My Other Me’, in which a lonely college student finds himself displaced from his body by his alter ego; ‘Gray’, in which a frustrated man is stunned to discover a little creature has been living in his head; ‘Elmer Phelps’, in which a brother and sister find themselves linked in a strange reality by a bat bite in their youth; and lastly, ‘Appendage’, in which a cynical mercenary is hired by his son to protect a research lab on the verge of a stunning discovery.

About the author:
Roland Allnach has been writing since his teens, but did not actively seek publication until 2007. He has numerous published short stories to his credit, one of which was a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee, as well as two multi-award winning books, Remnant (2010) andOddities & Entities (2012). His literary inspirations arise from classic literature, history, and mythology, and his aim is to invest his stories and characters with a complexity and depth that continue to reward upon repeated readings. Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.

My review:
I am a huge fan of scary, paranormal, creepy stories, so when I was given the opportunity to review this book, I knew that I would enjoy every single delicious word.

And that I did.

Aside from the fact that the stories kept me interested, I felt that the characters and the plots were well developed...and that for me is what makes a book good.  I don't need bells and whistles in a good story book, I need an author that will pull me into his writing and keep me there, make me feel like I'm living every single moment of the story as it progresses.

I feel that Roland Allnach did that.

As with many other reviewers of this book, I will agree that Boneview was outstanding, but that in no way retracts from the others.

I really do think it's the perfect read for this month of October, especially with Halloween right around the corner.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Slow Cooking Thursday - Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup


Well, I decided it was time to bring back one of my favorite features, my Slow Cooking Thursday.

I kind of changed it to Cooking Thursdays at first, to accommodate those who didn't have slow cooking recipes to share, but this feature has always held a special place in my heart from the very first post back in 2006.

So, it's back and I intend on sharing lots of yummy slow cooking recipes with you all, are you ready?

This recipe is from Heather Likes Food and it's bookmarked to try one of these days, it looks soooo good.

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

6 cups of your favorite homemade meaty spaghetti sauce or 24 oz jar prepared spaghetti sauce + 1/2 lb browned ground beef + 1/2 lb browned Italian sausage
1/2 bag (4.5 oz) fresh spinach leaves
4 C chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
16 oz frozen cheese tortellini

Combine spaghetti sauce (and meat if adding it in separately), spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth, and mushrooms in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 2-3.

20 minutes before serving, turn heat to high if it isn't already an stir in frozen tortellini. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender and hot.

Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

{ Sweet Autumn Moments }

Laundry Day

Could it really be almost the end of October? Almost Halloween? Almost Thanksgiving and quite possibly almost Christmas?

How fast has this year gone by?

A lot has been going on for me, some very good things, some not very good, some that make me want to just curl in a ball and cry....but the best part about all of this is the fact that I choose to look at every single thing I go through, as a learning curve.

I know for a fact that God is wanting us in this moment to learn something and so I just choose to trust Him, even if at the moment I have no clue what the lesson is.


As the sweet month of October is going by, I'm trying to soak in as much as I can because I know that really soon it will be winter time and these gorgeous colors will be gone until next year.

One thing I've noticed over the years though, is that no matter what may be going on in our lives, some things stay the same.  The rhythm of housework and rearing children is never slowing, and for that I'm quite grateful, it helps to keep me sane.

So here's a look at what I've been doing this past week.....


One....Homeschooling has been going very well, even more so when it's a cold day and we get to throw a quilt in front of the fire and snuggle down with pretty crochet pillows.



Two....have seen the most beautiful moon rises ever.


Three....on a day where I wasn't feeling very well, the only thing I could think of to make me feel a little better, were some homemade Pasteis de Nata (Custard Tarts).


Four....two little pugs who have been loving the fire.  On very cold days they can be found laying together enjoying the warmth.


Five....plenty of this going around here and I am actually quite sick of it (no pun intended)


Six....reading cookbooks and planning the new menu plan



Seven....The first one to be enjoyed just had to be The Little House Cookbook, if only for the fact that it mixes some of my favorite things in one, cooking, reading, Little House on the Prairie.


Eight....a library run which has filled my book pile to the brim, and there's nothing I like more than to see a toppling tower of unread books.  I'm sure from the picture you can see what genre I've been enjoying the most.

And with that my dear sweet friends, I'm closing this post and wishing you all a very restful and blessed Wednesday night :)

By the way, I have decided to bring back Slow Cooking Thursdays, there are so many wonderful recipes out there that I am wanting to try.  Soon as the weather starts cooling down I pull out my crockpots and it's all about the soups and the stews and the yummy roasts.

So gather your recipes, either your favorites or a new one you wish to try, and come back tomorrow morning to share with us all.  Let us bring our Slow Cooking Thursdays back to what they used to be, what do you say?

On this day in 2006 - Monday Monday
On this day in 2007 -
On this day in 2008 - I did it, I made the change
On this day in 2009 -
On this day in 2010 - Moonlight
On this day in 2011 -
On this day in 2012 -

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/21/2013

Good morning my friends.  I am sure you are wondering where I've disappeared to the last week, and I wish I could tell you that I've been on some crazy adventure somewhere in an exotic location, but alas, I've been home dealing with a lot of things.

Everyone has been sick, my husband has been working horrible hours with no time off, and it's been a big adjustment for everyone. Let me just say that I've been struggling, a lot, and being sick doesn't exactly help my state of mind.

I so miss my blog though and I feel that sometimes I am a record stuck on repeat when I say that, but you have no idea how much I miss being here daily and visiting with everyone and just jotting down my day and sharing with you all.

I dream about the day I get some sort of normalcy back into my life. Anyway, on to today's post which is mighty late as well, I do apologize for that.


The Weather:::
36 degrees at the moment.  It's been very chilly around here and I've had to use my fireplace a few times already.  

Right now I am:::
Sitting down to finally compose this post, late as it might be.  I've had quite a bit to do already this morning, things that needed  my immediate attention. 

About everything that is going on right now.  This adjustment has been so difficult and I honestly thought that it must be just us, but after talking to so many military friends who are now retired, I've learned that it's common and normal and happens to everyone.  I keep praying for the end in sight and I know I'm far from it still but just hoping I have the strength and that my faith is strong enough to get us through the next 2 or so years. 

On my reading pile:::
Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble.  (enjoying this one tremendously)
Safe in His Arms by Colleen Coble (from the same series as the one above)
I've been on a frontier/pioneer/western kick with book reading so I'm thoroughly enjoying all of these.
Also have some cookbooks I'm reading through....
The Little House Cookbook
More Easy Everyday Cooking
Dim Sum
Dinner on a Dime
Down Home with The Neelys

On my tv:::
Downton Abbey 
Ghost Adventures
The Paradise Season 2
19 Kids and Counting

On the menu for this week:::

Monday - Feijoada (Bean Stew)
Tuesday - Million Dollar Spaghetti 
Wednesday - Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs, Mashed Potatoes
Thursday - Sausage Rice, Salad
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Homemade Tacos, Mexican Rice
Sunday - Potato and Onion Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

On my to do list:::
Wash the kid's Tae Kwon Do Gi's for tonight

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still busy with the scarf, haven't had a chance to do much lately

Looking around the house:::
Kitchen is clean, my wonderful sister in law just finished washing the dishes for me.  Living room needs a little picking up, but other than that it's tidy.  Nicholas and Colby are playing sister in law and hubby are sitting at the kitchen table chatting and the teenage girls are still sleeping. 

From the camera:::

On my prayer list:::
My husband right now as he struggles to get through this difficult transition.
My sister in law, she had a job interview last week and if she could get this job it would be wonderful.

Bible verse, Devotional:::

And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
– 1 Corinthians 15:49 (NIV)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/14/2013

I am so sorry this is going up so late today.

I have a house full of sickies, at the moment all 4 kids are down with the flu and so is my husband and my brother.  The only ones who are fine is me and my sister in it's up to us to take care of everyone and it's just crazy busy right now.

Anyway, here we go, on to today's Happy Homemaker Monday.....


The Weather:::
49 degrees right now.  Have another week of fall weather ahead, looks like.

Right now I am:::
Sitting down with a cup of hot coffee and chatting with my sister in law while I wait for the chicken soup to finish.

That I hope my sister in law and I don't get sick, otherwise we're in big trouble.

On my reading pile:::
Halfway through with my Lori Copeland book "When Love Comes My Way".  Also got the Witches of East End books by Melissa de la Cruz.  I'm loving the series on Lifetime so looking forward to reading the books.

On my tv:::
Downton Abbey 
Ghost Adventures
On the menu for this week:::

Monday - Beef Stew
Tuesday - Sausage Spaghetti 
Wednesday - Tomato and Onion Roasted Tilapia, Garlic Potatoes
Thursday -
Saturday -

On my to do list:::
Nothing, but take care of sick kids and husbands, which I guess is quite a bit in itself, right? 

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Knitting a scarf for myself.

Looking around the house:::
Kitchen is all clean and dishes all washed, my sister in law and I got it all taken care of so we now can have a little break and catch up on our shows.
Kids have been medicated and fed yummy homemade chicken soup, they're all now in the living room laying on the couches with their blankies, and watching a movie. 

From the camera:::

Laundry Day

On my prayer list:::
Lots of family members and friends needing different things at the moment.
For all the sickies here at home, hoping they all start feeling better soon.

Bible verse, Devotional:::

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

All day the blanket snapped and swelled
on the line, roused by a hot spring wind....
From there it witnessed the first sparrow,
early flies lifting their sticky feet,
and a green haze on the south-sloping hills.
Clouds rose over the mountain....At dusk
I took the blanket in, and we slept,
restless, under its fragrant weight.

Laundry Day

I spent all day yesterday doing laundry.  It seems to multiply from one day to the other doesn't it?

As I went about my day, my daughter brought to my attention that I was doing laundry all dolled up LOL

I had gone out in the morning for an errand and didn't want to change before taking on the task of laundry, besides I happen to believe that just because we're doing household chores doesn't mean we have to be sloppy or messy.

Laundry Day

It was such a beautiful Fall day, just a bit of a breeze, cool temperatures but not cold and that crisp sharp sun shining over head.

Laundry Day

You may find it crazy that I have my camera on me at all times, but I never know when a good photo opportunity will show up and I do so love being able to record all these memories for a future day. 

Laundry Day

As the day went by, I walked in and out of the house, loads of laundry on my hip and the exchange from line to basket and basket to line becoming a fluid motion without much thought going into if my body was on auto pilot.

Laundry Day

I washed, I dried, I ironed, I packed away and all while looking *dolled up*, as my daughter put it.

Glad to say that I am all caught up and the laundry baskets are empty.  Well, they were until last night but after everyone's shower, they're filling up again.


Tomorrow is another day right?